Announced last Thursday, Motorsport Games said they are in production of a game that will feature the famed cars, tracks, and drivers of the NTT IndyCar Series set to be released in 2023. This could arguably be one of the biggest off-track story lines set to come out of the series in 2021 as IndyCar is making the right steps to have a more successful future. But what does a game mean for IndyCar? What will the impact be for fans?
For people who don't know, this isn't the actual first time an IndyCar game will be released to fans. We have to go back all the way to 1989 with "Indianapolis 500: The Simulation" released on MS-DOS. The game was created by Papyrus and distributed by EA Sports. It had four modes with varying different race lengths as you attempt to find glory by taking the victory at the 500. Various games since then have been released about the IndyCar Series all the way up to 2005, when the game "IndyCar Series 2005" was released by Codemasters.
Since then, the sole operator of IndyCar series virtual action has been handled by iRacing with the introduction of the multiple series that the service provides. To be honest, nothing can probably be as good as the IndyCars on iRacing due in fact to the physics engine and tire models that make races on the service as competitive as ever. The only downside to iRacing is however, the upfront cost that it takes to get to that series. Spending well over 200 dollars to get to the point where you can race a full twelve-week season in that series.
So that's where Motorsport Games comes into play, when they announced that this title is in development. For most of us sim-racers, NASCAR 21 will be the groundwork to see if this game is something to look forward to. Using rFactor physics engine and an updated graphics engine, we have very high hopes that the game can bring a new wave of fans to NASCAR.
For me, that was the reason I got into NASCAR by playing NASCAR 98' in my grandparents bedroom. It is how I became a fan of F1, and in 2005, became a fan of the IndyCar series. By having a great way to introduce fans to the tracks, drivers, and nuances of the sport that a fan can watch a race on Sunday. A IndyCar game will introduce young fans by putting them in the virtual drivers seat at famous tracks like Indianapolis or Long Beach.
For IndyCar, they have always had a problem marketing themselves to the younger generation of fans. That's what Formula One has done so well as of late, NASCAR even less so and IndyCar has been virtually non-existent in terms of social media presence and gaming. Hopefully the game brings more fans to a potential IndyCar boom in the future.